Cavendish: On-Bike Fisticuffs

Earlier today, Mark Cavendish twittered this re: the end of yesterday’s stage (he was using Columbia teammate Mark Renshaw’s account):

Yesterday with 3km to go, Piet Rooijakkers (skil shimano) kidney punched me. Is he a:stupid b:crazy c:disrespectful d:all of the above? Cav

OK–what’s all that about? Maybe a little more than Cavendish let on. Here’s what The Guardian says:

Starting in Monaco, the stage was run in heat that touched 40 degrees and raised temperatures in the peloton, too. As the teams started to wind up for a hectic finish, the combustible Cavendish became embroiled with another rider. In his account, given at the post-race press conference, the guilty man was Kenny van Hummel, a Dutch rider with the Skil-Shimano team.

“He took his hands off the bars and hit me,” Cavendish said. “I was pretty annoyed about that. It’s disrespectful.”

According to the Skil-Shimano team the rider was Piet Rooijakkers, another Dutchman who had been barged and could not help touching Cavendish. When Cavendish allegedly reacted by tugging the Skil rider’s shirt, Rooijakkers lashed out.

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